How To Start A Stihl Chainsaw When Flooded

How To Start A Stihl Chainsaw When Flooded

Starting a Stihl chainsaw when it has flooded can be tricky – you may have experienced this after a long day of cutting. 

Finding an easy solution can be complex and intimidating, whether it’s because of old fuel or the difficulty of getting that first spark to ignite the engine. 

To start a flooded Stihl chainsaw, turn off the ignition, set the choke to the “off” position, and pull the starter cord several times to clear excess fuel from the engine.

Today I will give you some tips and tricks I’ve learned from using Stihl chainsaws about how to start your saw when it gets flooded with gas – something any avid user will experience at least once in their career!

How To Start A Stihl Chainsaw When Flooded – Step By Step Guide

Starting a Stihl chainsaw when it is flooded can seem like an intimidating task. But with the proper steps and precautions, you can rerun your chainsaw quickly! 

Turn off the ignition: 

Locate the ignition switch on your Stihl chainsaw and turn it off to prevent further fuel from entering the engine.

Set the choke to “off”:

 Locate the choke control on the chainsaw and move the choke lever or knob to the “off” position to allow air into the carburettor.

Remove excess fuel from the engine: 

Depress the throttle trigger fully and hold it down. Pull the starter cord several times until you feel resistance. Release the throttle trigger and pull the starter cord again to start the engine.

Adjust the choke and throttle as needed: 

If the engine starts but stalls, move the choke to the “half” position. If the engine idles roughly, adjust the throttle until it runs smoothly.

Repeat as necessary:

 If the chainsaw still doesn’t start, repeat the process until it does. You may need professional assistance if it doesn’t start after several attempts.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safely starting and using your Stihl chainsaw.

The More Hands-On Method To Start A Flooded Chainsaw:

Here are the steps for starting a flooded Stihl chainsaw:

  1. Check for fuel leaks and repair any damage.
  2. Remove the air filter and add a tablespoon of fresh two-stroke oil to lubricate the chainsaw’s internal components.
  3. Clean the spark plug and screw it back in place.
  4. Prime the engine with fresh fuel by pushing the primer bulb a few times.
  5. Place the chainsaw on a flat surface with the chain brake engaged.
  6. Pull the starter rope firmly and slowly up to four times.
  7. With luck, the chainsaw should start up.

How Long Does It Take For A Flooded Chainsaw To Start?

If you have ever flooded your Stihl chainsaw while attempting to start it, you may wonder how long you must wait before it works.

 The answer to this question depends on a few factors, such as the type of fuel used and the ignition system’s condition. Generally speaking, a flooded chainsaw can take a few minutes to several hours before it will fire up.

When attempting to start a flooded chainsaw, the fuel-air mixture inside the engine becomes too rich, and no air can enter the combustion chamber.

 As a result, you must wait for the excessive fuel to evaporate before you can successfully ignite your machine. To speed up this process, you can remove the spark plug and use an air compressor to blow out any excess fuel.

In addition, if the ignition system is worn or faulty, it may take longer for the engine to start.

 If your chainsaw has not been used for an extended period, its ignition system may have become damaged due to corrosion or wear. In this case, it is best to have the ignition system inspected and serviced by a professional to avoid further delays.

How A Stihl Chainsaw Becomes Flooded: Causes

There are several reasons why a Stihl chainsaw may become flooded, including:

  1. Incorrect ignition timing causes the spark plug to not fire at the right time or not at all, resulting in fuel buildup in the combustion chamber.
  2. Dirt or debris blocking the spark plug prevents it from firing properly.
  3. Fuel gets into the exhaust system, which can become trapped and cause flooding.
  4. A clogged air filter restricts airflow and causes fuel to build up in the combustion chamber.
  5. Overpriming the engine with fuel causes excess fuel to enter the combustion chamber.
  6. It is important to properly maintain your Stihl chainsaw and address any potential issues to prevent flooding and ensure safe operation.

How Can You Prevent The Stihl  Chainsaw From Flooding?

If you want to avoid the hassle and potential danger of dealing with a flooded Stihl chainsaw, there are several things you can do to prevent it from happening in the first place.

  1. Proper maintenance: One of the most important things you can do is to maintain your chainsaw correctly. Regularly check the spark plug, air filter, and fuel lines for any signs of wear or damage. Replace them as needed and follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.
  2. Correct fuel mixture: Using the correct fuel mixture is crucial to preventing flooding. Use the recommended two-stroke oil and gasoline mix and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the correct ratio.
  3. Be mindful of temperature: The temperature can also affect how easily chainsaw floods. If the temperature is freezing, you may need to adjust the choke and prime the engine more slowly to prevent flooding.
  4. Be careful when priming: Over-priming can cause excess fuel to flood the combustion chamber. Only prime the engine as much as necessary and avoid repeatedly priming it if it doesn’t start immediately.
  5. Take breaks: If you have been using your chainsaw for an extended period, allow the engine to cool down. Overheating can cause the engine to flood more easily.


Starting a flooded Stihl chainsaw requires patience and practice, but it can be done with the correct procedures. 

After waiting for the engine to cool, disassemble the spark plug connection and inspect it for damage or excess fuel. Ensure all components work correctly – especially air filters and spark plugs.

Remember always to wear protective gear and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to start a Stihl chainsaw when flooded. 

With enough practice and knowledge, anyone can learn how to start their Stihl chainsaw efficiently, even after flooding chambers and cylinders with too much oil or gas.


How Long Does It Take For A Stihl Chainsaw To Unflood?

After a Stihl chainsaw flood, it typically takes about 15-30 minutes for the fuel to evaporate and the engine to dry out before it can be restarted.

Is There A Trick To Starting A Stihl Chainsaw?

There are some tricks to starting a Stihl chainsaw, such as properly priming the engine, using the correct fuel mixture, and ensuring the spark plug is clean and in good condition.

Why Is My Chainsaw Flooding When I Try To Start It?

A chainsaw can flood when the spark plug isn’t firing at the right time, the spark plug is dirty or blocked, there is too much fuel in the exhaust system, or the air filter is clogged.

How Do I Stop My Stihl Chainsaw From Flooding?

To prevent a Stihl chainsaw from flooding, ensure proper fuel and oil mixture, regularly clean or replace air filters, and maintain the chainsaw’s ignition system in good condition.

Why Won’t My Stihl Chainsaw Start After Running?

A common reason for a Stihl chainsaw not starting after running is a flooded engine caused by excess fuel in the combustion chamber.

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